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An Ode To A Penn State Snow Day

There’s something special about State College when it’s swallowed in snow.

At first, the frosty blanket that covers campus and decorates downtown is met with an almost eerie silence. The typical hustle and bustle of Happy Valley is absorbed by the powdery white, and it becomes the kind of quiet that campus only gets in the summer.

Alas, the peaceful serenity of the fresh-fallen snow is broken as soon as students find their snow boots (or sneakers with double socks). Folks take to all corners of campus with dining trays, storage bins, cardboard boxes, the ~occasional~ sled, and a collective giddiness that can only be described as magic.

Penn Staters fall under a spell when it snows. All judgment, apprehension, and social norms go straight out the window when there’s more than an inch of powder on the ground. Complete strangers act like best friends on the HUB Lawn.

This sense of togetherness is one of Penn State’s greatest traditions. You can feel it when singing the Alma Mater in Beaver Stadium, when a stranger yells “We Are!” at you in the airport, when any State College band plays “Sweet Caroline,” and when folks join forces to construct a giant snowball and roll it into the HUB.

With the new reality of remote jobs, Zoom meetings, and online classes, I’m grateful that Penn State still chooses to preserve what is one of the best parts of being a kid. We might be adults by definition, but everybody needs a snow day every now and then — 24 hours to slow down, sleep in, and remember why you didn’t go south for college.

As a second-semester senior, this snow day brings a bittersweet feeling that I haven’t felt in previous winters. Could this be our last snow day…ever? I’d rather not think about it.

Whether you’re spending your snow day cozied up on the couch, drinking at Doggie’s, or even catching up on homework, I hope you take a few minutes to watch the snow fall and thank yourself for choosing to be a Penn Stater.

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About the Author

Grace Cunningham

Grace is a senior advertising major and Onward State’s social media manager. She is also a co-host of our podcast, Podward State. Like a good New Jerseyan, Grace denounces Snooki and Pennsylvania bagels. However, she loves pranks, the Yankees, and Cake Boss highlight reels. You can follow her on Twitter @gecunningham7 or send videos of babies doing funny stuff to [email protected]

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